Thursday, January 10th 2013, 3:15 AM EST
BRITAIN is braced for weeks of heavy snow set to trigger the worst whiteout for years and cause chaos across the country.
Temperatures are expected to plunge to -15C (5F) in exposed parts from the weekend – with up to five inches of snow possible.
Forecasters said the entire country faces a crippling big freeze which could last until the middle of February as winter finally arrives with a vengeance.
Last night, as gritter lorries took to roads nationwide, the Met Office said freezing air from Russia is primed to clash with moist air from the Atlantic, triggering snow from Sunday.
It’s the same weather pattern responsible for the bitter 2009-10 winter, the coldest for 31 years when transport networks were crippled and planes grounded. Icy easterly winds will sweep across Britain with everywhere at risk of wintry showers from the weekend and “significant snowfall” over high ground in Wales and the North.
Forecaster Charlie Powell said: “By Sunday and into Monday we are seeing cold air drawn in from the North-east which is pushing against colder air from the Atlantic. It is going to turn much colder and will be quite frosty as early as Saturday.
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“There will be some snow over hilly regions of Wales and the North-east and some of that could be significant. The UK has become a battleground between these two weather systems, and depending on which one wins out will determine how much widespread snow we see.”
Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, warned that a “catastrophic” Arctic blast could see “feet of snow” cause mayhem across the UK. He said that the whiteout is likely to be more severe than the big freeze of 2010.
“Winter is going to really kick in from this weekend. Although this has been expected for weeks people need to prepare for how serious it could turn out to be,” he added. “It is going to turn increasingly chilly with very cold weather from Saturday.
“Later in the month we are expecting waves of major Arctic blasts and blizzards with many feet of drifting snow and another blizzardy blast around the beginning of February.
“WeatherAction expects snow amounts to be as bad or worse than the record-breaking December 2010.”
Click source for FULL report from Nathan Rao
Source Link: express.co.uk